Monday, 28 November 2016

C17 Globemaster III build - full assembly check

This weekend saw me get the entire beast together in the garden for her tail alignments - something that I've been chomping at the bit to get on with, but weather and circumstance have not been in my favour.

All went well, and the rear carbon sleeves are now glued up, and are being integrated into the rear structure as a whole now.

I eye-balled the structure, then checked with a spirit level which wasn't needed.  It all looks to be within an eighth of a bubble / half a degree after final tweaks.

I also managed to do some work on the Fouga and the Ilyushin this weekend, but nothing big enough or interesting enough for pictures just yet.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

C17 Globemaster III build - flap canoes and winglets

Things are moving along smartly now.  

First off, I laminated 16 flap canoe plates with pink foam :

Then they were carved to shape, and laid out on the wings for a test fit :

That all looked OK, so I bonded them on, then ran some lightweight filler around the bases :

Whilst that was drying, I flipped the wing over, added the 3mm liteply face plate, and the foam trailing edge root part :

I've added a slot through canoe number 2 now, into the servo bay.  This was achieved with beaten up old bit of brass tube, heated and poked through :

So, some winglet action now.  I bonded medium weight balsa to 3mm liteply.

This was then sanded down both sides to form a semi-symmetrical wing section.  Whether that was the right thing to do or not, I don't know, but I didn't want to remove too much of the liteply as it is what gives this part it's strength : 

Balsa side :

In place on the wing.  You can also see the notch I've taken out of the LE for the wing tip light here :

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Fouga Magister build - body filler time!

Some progress on the Magister - no I'm not just concentrating on the C17!  Time for some body filler on the tip tanks and fuselage end-piece :

First tank sanded down - lovely and smooth.  I might primes these at the weekend :

C17 Globemaster III build - spoiler and aileron progress

Whilst the wing is still in such an unfinished state, I thought it would be a good time to try out my ideas for the spoiler mechanism on the top surface.  I cut the spoiler itself from 1/16th" birch ply, then mounted it to the wing with a tape hinge.  I used one of the flat metal gear / digital Corona servos (5kg pull) screwed to the mounting plate for the trials.  A short linkage made up from M2 parts was made up, and we were off :

The wiring location is of course just temporary here.  I have yet to cut the final channels through the foam for these last leads.

So, with the aileron mounted too, this is what it looks like :

That should stop her in a hurry! 😚

So I removed it all, and then added internal brace-work to stiffen things up, and I will add hinge hard points to this too.  Getting exciting - I am very near to doing the final parts on this wing panel now.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

C17 Globemaster III build - flap mechanism

I hot-melt-glued a flap servo into the wing last night, made up a HD M3 linkage, and played with some geometry.  

It works!  I need to make sure the flap side of the linkage is properly reinforced (I will wrap it in carbon), but essentially it works fine.  The servo will need some work done on it's travel volume, but that should be a doddle on OpenTX with my new Horus.

Now on to the aileron connection...if only I could find my left aileron!

Monday, 14 November 2016

C17 Globemaster III build - fuselage work continues

Getting things done before planking.  Carbon tubes to accept the joiners :

As above, but a side view now, showing local reinforcement webs, and former doublers :

With the joiner tubes attached (yes, most of this is being built on an ironing board, just like the A10!) :

Wing root fairing started.  I slid the wing on to the spar to position the outer "hard" ply face, then added 1/2" square balsa blocks for spacers :

This was then planked in 3/32" sheet, and sanded smooth.  I braced the ribs front and back with 1/2" square hard balsa :

The start of the tail section alignment!  The fin & tailplane is currently about 2 degrees off the vertical.  The tail section has been pushed roughly onto it's mating tubes, to get some idea of the overall alignment progress.  Next it'll be downstairs to get the wings on at the same time, then a few measurements will need to be taken.  Once happy and everything is square, I will bond the carbon sleeves in the tail section.

Oh, the nose foam has been sanded and also has received a skim coat of lightweight filler here too :

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

C17 Globemaster III build - some fuselage progress

After visiting the LMA show with the PSSA guys in October, I came to realise that the model's slow progress was more to do with the construction method, rather than the size of the model itself.  The wings are nearly done, the tail is done, the tail section needs final sanding, but the nose had stalled.

All that foam had gotten to me, and I hated sectioning it up / shaping it / sanding it / gluing it in / pinning it.  Then it still needs a lot of work to get to the final shape, then a semi-complex covering method!  So I decided to knock it on the head, leave the foam where it is, then stringer-and-plank it.

Some of the foam will be removed out the front, but the nose section is now going to be built up and planked with 3/32" sheet.

So then, enough talk - here are some pictures.

Stood on her "tail", undercarriage stringers being added

Some white foam has been shaped here, and some stringers added

On her belly again, stringers on the top

Some of this foam will stay, as shaping wood around here will be a pain
So, some progress then.  I have realised that a battery and ballast tray will need to be added up front ASAP whilst there is still access.

The 200th post

Well, here is the 200th post.  What to say?  Probably nothing, other than thanks for reading, and hopefully continuing to do so.  Here are some pictures instead!

Thursday, 3 November 2016

SU27 Flanker modifications

With a great NW wind forecast showing for this weekend, it's been decided that there will be a mini PSSA meet at Bosley Cloud, near Congleton.  As it's quite a powerful hill - with flat land in front of it across the Cheshire plain to the sea - I thought it's about time the Su27 got a proper airing.  

After her last fights in mega lift on the Orme, I knew she was still too nose heavy.  A slight dive test caused her to nearly pull up into a stall, so she is way too over-stable.  This airframe was also next on the list for the LiFe battery upgrade, so I killed two birds with one stone.

Here is the forward battery compartment in the underside of the nose.  I removed half the lead, and cut a hole in the front former to reveal a liteply plate that I can'remember installing!  Oops.  Anway, the 2500mah LiFe slips in nicely, along with some bubble wrap to keep things from moving about.

It's pretty hard to make out in this picture, but I've moved the C of G back by 8mm, which is good for a first try I think.  I must remember to take out some of the up-trim before launching!

I charged the battery on the bench last night, and packaged her all up ready for Sunday.  In all, I've saved 4ozs from the AUW, and she has moved to a better battery chemistry. Can't wait!